Year in Review 2020

  • News & Culture

I don’t think anyone could have predicted the year that was 2020.  This year has been tough for many individuals and businesses, thankfully Plank has amazing leaders (we love you Warren & Steve) that kept our spirits high! Without our dynamic duo, transitioning the entire team online while also onboarding new hires remotely, working at Plank wouldn’t feel as effortless or fun. However, even amongst the hardships, we were also very fortunate to be able to work on several new projects as well as start some new initiatives.

We also want to take a moment to acknowledge the Arts, Culture, & Entertainment industries, a large part of who Plank serves. They experienced a lot of hardships throughout the year, but we are hopeful for 2021 and how we can support them moving forward.

With that being said, we would like to celebrate some of our positive accomplishments during 2020.

More Schwag!

We invested in more Plank Schwag. In our efforts to support local, we partnered with several local businesses to help provide us with some unique goods.

Our Plank merch in action!

No one could have predicted that masks would be THE must-have fashion piece of the year. We got in on the action and produced some custom made masks alongside Notorious Goods.

a mask with green circles as a design, laid out on a wood floor
Our custom Plank masks

Atelier ARCHIPEL, a MTL-bound brand, made our notebooks. Paula Youwakim (@cestpaulette) used a heat-pressed vinyl technique on our totes, screen printed our notebook covers, and even sewed our logo onto some tuques!

A cream tote and notebook with a blue circle design, and a beanie with our logo all laid down on a wood floor
Our Plank tote, tuque, and notebook

We also got these amazing pencils from Sprout. Although not from Montreal, this Denmark brand makes pencils with a second life! The one pictured below can grow into a fresh cherry tomato plant once planted!

A wooden pencil, with the Plank logo engraved into it, inside a pencil holder with a bunch of pens.
Our Plank pencil

Our Team

This year we hired the most people in Plank’s history!

We said hello to three Back-end Developers: Jose, Kurt, and Chris; and Olivier, a Front-end Developer. We also said hello to Stephanie, our Marketing Coordinator and Ariane, our Business Strategist.

We also gave a bittersweet goodbye to Tarah Schwartz, our previous Director of Marketing & Communications.

We are also looking forward to our new hire, Alyssa Beaton, who will be joining us this coming January as our newest Front-end Developer.

Plank Goes Remote

This comes as no surprise, but due to the pandemic Plank had to go 100% remote. Thankfully Steve and Warren have still been able to visit the office on a weekly basis to keep our many plants alive and well. 

One upside to going remote was that our team could work from pretty much anywhere! Two members of our team, Megan and Jason, were able to work from British Columbia and Saskatchewan, respectively. Jason even bought his first home for his cute little family! So although working via Zoom calls has been less than ideal, there were some positives.

A screenshot of a zoom call with 5 people wearing varying types of wigs and sunglasses.
Keeping it classy on Zoom

In an effort to keep our team bonded we started Fun Fridays, where we relax and chat while playing various online-friendly games together like Jackbox and Among Us at the end of the work day. This has been great for new hires, helping them get to know team members they may not have worked with throughout the week.

New Projects

2020 brought us some pretty exciting new projects.

And we’ve also been working really hard towards some other new launches for 2021…

We also have some other new projects that will officially launch later in 2021 including sites for:

  • McGill Faculty of Law
  • Yonder Window Theatre Company

As you can probably tell, we’ve been super busy this year and we cannot wait to show you the final products!

We also want to send a huge thank you to all our loyal clients who trust us time and time again to create and update their digital experiences.

Diversity & Inclusion Program

In 2020 we created our Diversity & Inclusion Program, which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement earlier in the year. We started by asking ourselves how Plank could have a positive impact in our community.

After much discussion and research we decided to partner with DESTA, an organization for Greater Montreal that supports black youth between the ages of 18 to 35 that helps them reach their educational and entrepreneurial goals.

Daylen and Warren during a zoom call. Daylen wears a pinkhoodie, a matching pink beret, and glasses. Warren wears a shark costume and glasses.
Daylen and Warren during a session.

Our first mentee, Daylen, took part in a three-day program where they had 90-minute sessions with individual Plank members from our different departments. These sessions were about our teams day-to-day work and what we have learned in our career journeys at Plank.

We talk about the program more in-depth in our blog post: Introducing Plank’s Diversity & Inclusion Program.

A graphic of three hands of varying skin colours all holding a little heart.
Plank’s Diversity & Inclusion Program

We will be holding our second round of this program in the upcoming year, once again with DESTA, and we hope to keep growing and improving it as we go.

Plank Gives Back Continues

Every year, Plank chooses an organization that gives back to the community and offers them 80 hours of free work in order to improve their online presence. This Spring, Plank chose La Transformerie for our Plank Gives Back program.

Website screenshot of different jams offered by La Transformerie.
La Transformerie website

La Transformerie is a wonderful organisation with a superb team behind it. They are a non-profit organisation with the goal of reducing food waste by working with grocery stores and their unsold food.

They found that they had two key issues we could help with, 1. elevate the brands look and feel and 2. help make a more clear distinction between La Transformerie and one of their key initiatives Les Rescappe. We achieved their goals by reworking the site map and updating their brand style by adding consistent typography and improved layout.

La Transformerie's process from pick up, to transformation of fruit to jam, and redistribution of food to food banks.
Screenshot showing La Transformerie’s process

We cannot wait to launch another campaign for Plank Gives Back in the new year. Along with many other exciting announcements for our 2021 campaigns… stay tuned!

Virtual Events

Once again miss ‘Rona had different plans in store for 2020. 90 percent of the events we attended this year were held virtually. Taking away the in-person aspect of conferences definitely changed the experience but we still learnt a lot considering!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

After a full year of hard work, we are ready to relax before we enter 2021 full force.

All of us at Plank wish you a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! We are ready and hopeful for an amazing 2021.